YOUNGSTOWN - Prosecutors allege that former Cafaro Co. head Anthony Cafaro Sr. orchestrated a $100,000 line of credit to a bankruptcy trustee in hopes of swaying him to not leave the Oak Hill Renaissance Place open to county purchase.
That allegation was contained in a once-sealed bill of particulars against Cafaro and others in a public corruption case. The bill was released Thursday after the state Supreme Court ordered it unsealed on Wednesday.
Cafaro and six others were indicted in 2010 on 173 counts that they conspired to block the purchase of Oak Hill by Mahoning County. The county wanted to move the department of Job and Family Services out of the Cafaro-owned McGuffey Plaza.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
The once-sealed bill of particulars in a 173-count indictment in the Mahoning County Oak Hill Renaissance Place corruption case was released Thursday after the Ohio Supreme Court ordered that it be made public.
The county purchased the building in federal bankruptcy court in 2006. At the time, Commissioner John McNally, Auditor Michael Sciortino and former Treasurer John Reardon opposed the move. They were also indicted.
Cafaro's lawyers, Martin G. Weinberg and George Stamboulidis, said in a statement that all charges had been dismissed more than a year ago and that the documents released are nothing more than allegations.
''The dismissal of the case was evidence that Mr. Cafaro and the other defendants not only are presumed innocent, but are in fact innocent of these politically motivated allegations,'' the statement said.
Cafaro faced counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, bribery and conspiracy. The charges were dismissed in July 2011 after a dispute between prosecutors and U.S. attorneys over tape recordings the federal government had of some of the defendants that it did not want to released to defense attorneys. It can be refiled.
In one of the perjury charges, prosecutors claimed that Cafaro denied trying to arrange $100,000 in credit from Chase Bank for the bankruptcy trustee for the Oak Hill building in May of 2006.
The bill of particulars states that the trustee was going to abandon the property if could not get the credit, which would pave the way for the county to get the building in bankruptcy court. The documents state that Cafaro sent a handwritten note to an official saying he needed the loan ''NOW!,'' and that within an hour of the notice that the building would be abandoned, the bank approved the credit.
Prosecutors said there were detailed law firm billing questions in 2006 to research the treasurer's right to refuse to invest in internal debt, the treasurer's right to sign checks and the auditor's right to refuse to sign bonds issued by the county.
Prosecutors also allege Cafaro lied when he said in his deposition that a third party should file the lawsuit.
Prosecutors said they had documents showing that attorneys working for the company provided Cafaro with memos he sent and delivered to the Charitable Law Section of the state Attorney General's office detailing suggested litigation by third parties, and that he also went to the home of Sam Moffie, a former commissioner candidate and businessman, and asked him to file the lawsuit and that he would pick up the tab. Moffie did not do so.
Cafaro also was accused of money laundering on claims of giving former Lisa Antonini $3,000 in cash when she was treasurer for her campaign after she asked for a donation of $3,000. The documents state Cafaro gave her a $200 check but he did not want to give her a large contribution and have it show up on her campaign finance report because of the Oak Hill situation.
Instead, court records state, Antonini gave $2,500 in cash to a mutual friend, who deposited the cash in a checking account and wrote her a check for $2,500.
Antonini was forced to resign after she had pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges herself.